Not too long ago, 15-year-old Jean Bosco spent the majority of his time carrying water. Every single day he walked to a murky, stagnant pond where he would fill his 5-gallon Jerry can, cork the top with a banana, walk home, empty it and repeat. He made this trip four or five times every single day.
Then, charity: water stepped in and funded a well for his village. For Jean Bosco, the well means less walking and never needing to boil out the inevitable diseases that come from stagnant pools of unclean water.
Now Jean Bosco can focus on going to school, on spending time with his family and on just being a kid.
Health and Sanitation
Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses.
Women and Children
In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely contaminated.
Time spent walking and resulting diseases keep them from school, work and taking care of their families. Along their long walk, they’re subjected to a greater risk of harassment and sexual assault. With safe water nearby, women are free to pursue new opportunities and improve their families’ lives.
Feeding our world takes up to 90% of our freshwater withdrawals. When a water project is built in a community, members can often use the new water source to grow small gardens near their homes and secure their own food supply. Self-sufficient households are less affected by conflict, famine or inadequate government services.
Adding it Up: The Return
Every $1 invested in improved water supply and sanitation can yield from $4 to $12 for the local economy, depending on the type of project. Even in regions prone to natural disasters, water infrastructure has proven to be a smart investment, sometimes reducing flood damage or disease rates among survivors. Clean water transforms lives, communities and generations – and at a surprisingly low cost.
charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
Most of us have never really been thirsty. We’ve never had to leave our houses and walk five miles to fetch water. We simply turn on the tap, and water comes out. Clean. Yet there are 800 million people on the planet who don’t have clean water.
It’s hard to imagine what 800 million people looks like really, but one in nine might be easier. One in nine people in our world doesn’t have access to the most basic of human needs. Something we can’t imagine going 12 hours without.
Here, charity: water would like to introduce you to a few of those 800 million. They are very real, and they need our help. They didn’t choose to be born into a village where the only source of water is a polluted swamp. And we didn’t choose to be born in a country where even the homeless have access to clean water and a toilet.
charity: water does not offer grand solutions and billion dollar schemes, but instead, simple things that work. Things like freshwater wells, rainwater catchments and sand filters.
A BOLD IDEA: The 100% Model
Always use 100% of public donations to fund clean water projects.
When charity: water started, they made a bold promise to the general public — 100% of their donations would go directly to the field to fund water projects. They’d find another way to cover their operating expenses. charity: water depends on private donors, foundations and sponsors to cover everything from staff salaries to basic office systems to office rent and supplies.
Where We Work
Water scarcity, poverty and political stability influence where charity: water works. So far, we’ve brought clean and safe drinking water to 20 countries around the globe – in Africa, Asia, Central and South America.
In the end, charity: water maps every completed project on our website using Google Maps so supporters can see exactly where they work, the types of projects they fund in each area and the number of people being helped.